|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Bringing the World to Your Door
By Brenda Thomson, Community Relations Coordinator
August 11, 2010
As a kid, my favorite book was “Good Night Moon,” that is, until my dad got so sick of it that one day it “disappeared.” My new favorite became “Where is the Bear?” I am pretty sure my mom can still recite it by heart.
“Good Night Moon” spoke of things familiar, giving words to my own experience. “Where is the Bear?” spoke of a world I didn’t know – the harshness of winters further north than my cozy coastal home, and the animals that endured them.
What both books have in common is that they opened the world to me, helping me see beyond my daily activities. They showed me there was something to learn, and sparked the need to discover what else was out there.
That is perhaps the best explanation I can give, not only of books, but of libraries. They broaden our horizons, connecting us to stories, ideas and information outside our own experience. Libraries do so freely, and are open to all, so no matter our means, the whole world becomes available right on our doorstep.
I love the way the late Isaac Asimov puts it in his memoir: "I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it."
The library is still that open door for all who would like to learn and discover more about our world.
It is the place many children first discover the joy of reading and learning; where parents have thousands of books at their fingertips to help entertain and educate their children.
It is a place to find help with homework, lexile ranges, research, college preparation and finding just the right topic for a school project.
It is a place where teens can gather with others who share their interests, where they find books written just for them, and on topics they care about.
It is a place where any adult can get help with navigating the job market, managing their money, picking up a new hobby, starting a business, home improvement and so much more.
In our technological age connection to the world is vital, not only for learning new things, but for everyday tasks.
Those cut off from technology through fear or inexperience can reconnect through basic computer classes, taught by patient and knowledgeable librarians.
For those without home Internet access, the library provides a way to apply for jobs, pay bills, register for school, and simply stay connected in an increasingly “wired” world.
Just as books did for me as child, the library brings the world to your door, providing a huge variety of resources on every topic under the sun.
Next time there is something you would like to know or discover I hope you will think of the library and, as Asimov did, “charge through that door and make the most of it.
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